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Parliamentary questions
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30 October 2017
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004111/2017

Article 31 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union provides that every worker has the right to fair and just working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and dignity. The European Union has also adopted an extensive body of legislation covering working conditions(1) and occupational health and safety on different aspects(2). In the question, the Honourable Members refer to specific cases of the women working as porters between Morocco and Ceuta and Melilla. National authorities are responsible to assess these cases.

The Commission is aware of the specific situation in Ceuta and Melilla at the border between Morocco and Spain with a high number of persons crossing the border for small trade and other purposes on a daily basis creating a constant pressure on the border and triggering public order challenges. In accordance with Spain's Accession Agreement(3), specific (control) procedures are in place at the El Tarajal II border crossing point in Ceuta to reduce the pressure on the border and to regulate the daily traffic flow.

During an announced Schengen evaluation visit in September 2017 to the Spanish external borders, including Ceuta, the application by Spain of the Schengen acquis was verified. A report will be adopted by the Commission in the coming months in accordance with the procedure provided by the Schengen evaluation Regulation.

(1)Notably Directives with regard to working time (Directive 2003/88/EC) or to information on individual employment conditions (Directive 91/533/EEC) or Directives aiming at protecting workers subject to non-standard employment relations such as fixed term work (Directive 99/70/EEC) , part-time work (Directive 97/81/EEC) or temporary agency work (2008/104/EC), the Platform against undeclared work (Decision (EU) 2016/344).
(2)Framework Directive on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (Directive 89/391/EEC) and the relevant individual directives within the meaning of Article 16 (1) thereof.
(3)OJ L 239, 22.09.200, p.69-75.

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